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Biography of Alfred Marshall (1842-1924)


British Economist born in London on 26 July 1842 and died in Balliol Croft (Cambridge) on July 13, 1924. The founder of the prestigious school of Cambridge, is considered since under his direction formed is the best British economists in the first half of the 20th century like Arthur Pigou or John Maynard Keynes. The publication of his book principles of Economics, in 1890, laid the foundations of the economic studies in later decades.

Marshall was educated at the Merchant Taylor completo School London School, where he excelled in mathematics, and in the Saint John completo College of Cambridge. After abandoning his religious vocation, he devoted himself entirely to the study of moral philosophy. Obtained square as an associate professor at the Saint completo John College of the University of Cambridge between 1865 and 1877 and this center specialized in the teaching of political economy.

From 1870 he directed his research interest in search of links between theoretical economics and economic reality and, as a result of this work, was the publication in 1879 for his first book, economy and industry, in collaboration with his wife Mary Paley. In 1877, the Marshall moved to Bristol, since Alfred had won square of Professor at University College. In this institution he taught until 1882 and contacted Benjamin Jowett, who supported him significantly in his academic career. After the death of Arnold Toynbee in 1883, he moved to Oxford as Professor of Balliol College, although the following year was chosen and he was elected to the Chair of Economics at the University of Cambridge, since you filled all your expectations. Between 1885 and 1908, he was year which left University to devote himself completely its economic studies and publishing tasks.

In the Decade of the eighties of the 19th century it had initiated a series of investigations that were to culminate in a Treaty of economy, several volumes. It was only to publish the first of them, a work which removed the basis of the economic survey and automatically became a classic text in its field. In the Treaty, Marshall explained concepts of economic theory as the consumer surplus, elasticity of demand or preference, among others. The anticipated second volume was never published because the author shifted their interest to other topics.

When she left teaching in 1908, concentrated his attention on trade, although it also had to meet successive reissues of his principles of economics. With the outbreak of the first world war, the international trade scenario changed dramatically and was forced to redirect their research which culminated in the publication in 1919 of the work industry and trade. Already in the autumn of his life, he presented his economic theory in money, credit and trade, which greatly enriched the methods of modern economic analysis.

As a public figure within the British economic orthodoxy, he had great influence on the Royal Commission of labour, to which it belonged between 1891 and 1894. She also promoted the Foundation of the Royal British economic society, of which he was Vice President from the British Association.

The main lines of work of Marshall approached the study of economic theory (in the perspective that later came to be called "marginalism") and international trade. In the first issue, it expanded the theoretical basis of microeconomics with concepts such as utility, elasticity of demand and consumer surplus. Thus he acquired effective tools of analysis of the economic behavior of the individual, always the utilitarian perspective. His contribution to international trade was also important; He came to the conclusion that the phenomena and currency fluctuations influenced the international demand elasticity.

His most celebrated works include The Economics of Industry, next to Mary Paley (1879); The Pure Theory of Foreign Trade (1879); The Present Position of Economics (1885); Principles of Economics: an introductory text (1890); Elements of the Economics of Industry (1892); Distribution and Exchange (1898); Introduction to the Tripos in Economics and Associated Branches of Political Science (1906); Money, Credit and Commerce (1923).


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